I have been sitting for quite a while with the meaning of compassion.
Often as I contemplate, my thoughts revolve around food and health. I continually come back to compassion and eating. Specifically eating animals. Can we truly be compassionate as humans and consume animals as a food source?
I believe we can. I choose to eat animals. I choose to eat only certain ones. I choose not to eat cows or pigs. I do choose to eat chicken and fish. I will not eat an animal that is raised in a factory farm. I do not eat animals or fish from China or Vietnam. I am more likely to eat a rabbit or a lamb because I can meet the farmer and know what it was fed, how it was raised, and how it was slaughtered. Having a choice is the biggest component for me. I find myself eating fewer animals or foods containing animals because they do not appeal to me.
However, when I do choose to eat animals, I make sure it is sourced thoughtfully, sustainably, humanely.
When I buy “meat” I get it as close to the original source as I can. Frequently that involves my local Farmer’s Market. When I go to a store, I ask many questions to find out if the food meets my standards for purchase. I believe we can be compassionate and be omnivores and carnivores. It takes thoughtfulness, mindfulness, and awareness. Asking questions of the farmer or the store, even if it is a big chain store, is our right as consumers.
Asking questions like where does this animal come from? What was it fed? Was it organic feed, Is it considered an organic animal? What was the environment it was raised in? Was it treated and slaughtered humanely?
If any of the answers do not meet your personal integrity, just say no, do not buy it. When we follow through with honoring ourselves and what we believe to be right and true we send a message to the people we do business with.
Compassion is another form of mindfulness. When we bring attention to what we most care about, we bring compassion to it. When we choose to eat with compassion we bring mindfulness to how we choose and shop for our food.
Your heart is at the center of every food choice.
When this is how we live, we are connected to the true meaning of being human and the true essence of being compassionate. When we choose with mindfulness and from our hearts we are living compassion. Each choice we make brings us back to ourselves. As we make food and life choices from the deepest confines of who we are, we follow our individual path of compassion, not only for the animal but for ourselves.
As you make these choices you may find that fewer of them involve animals, or GMO’s, or corporate greed. This is where the change is made. This is where transformation happens. This is the true meaning of compassion!
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